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Hockey

Kings seek to arrange a possible fill-in for injured Anze Kopitar

Anze Kopitar
Kings center Anze Kopitar controls the puck during a game against the St. Louis Blues on Oct. 16.
(Mark J. Terrill / Associated Press)

One question was answered as injured Kings center Anze Kopitar got on the plane Monday and accompanied his teammates to Philadelphia.

But if his upper-body injury keeps him out of Tuesday’s game against the Flyers, the Kings face the possibility of dressing only 11 forwards because they’re too close to the salary cap to bring up a replacement from the minor leagues. Kings executives spent much of the day Monday working with officials from the NHL and the NHL Players’ Assn. trying to get a temporary cap exemption and the flexibility to recall a player from Manchester (N.H.), likely Jordan Weal.

The Kings’ salary-cap situation is complicated because the salary of defenseman Slava Voynov counts against their cap total during his league-imposed suspension. Voynov was suspended indefinitely by the NHL last week after his arrest on suspicion of domestic violence.

Kopitar was injured in the second period of the Kings’ 5-2 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets on Sunday at Staples Center and did not return.

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“Nothing serious but gonna be careful too,” Kings Coach Darryl Sutter said by email Monday morning.

Sutter added that the team would know more about Kopitar’s status Tuesday. An injury to a top-six forward — let alone Kopitar, the Kings’ leading scorer for the last seven seasons — is no small matter.

Kopitar, who has two goals and three points this season, has been quiet offensively during the Kings’ opening eight games. The Kings have been boosted by the line of Tanner Pearson, Jeff Carter and Tyler Toffoli.

Already, the Kings are without forwards Trevor Lewis and Marian Gaborik, who are both out with upper-body injuries, and Voynov.

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Voynov remains in limbo. Redondo Beach police Lt. Joe Hoffman said Tuesday morning by email that the case is still under review by the district attorney’s office.

The case was reviewed by that office and additional follow-up was requested last week from Redondo Beach police detectives. Police continued their interviews over the weekend, Hoffman said.

Even before that, Voynov’s attorney said that “no crime was committed.” More recently, Voynov’s wife, Marta Varlamova, said she does not want the player to be charged and does not think a crime was committed against her, according to Varlamova’s attorney.

NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly said there was no change in Voynov’s status as far as the league was concerned. He also indicated that the league would consider a potential salary-cap assistance for the Kings, saying it would “look into whether some type of relief might be appropriate.”

 


 

KINGS at Philadelphia

When: 4 p.m. PDT

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On the air: TV: FS West, Radio: 790.

Etc.: There is always plenty of media interest in Philadelphia in former Flyers — such as Carter, Mike Richards and Justin Williams — and you can expect that Tuesday won’t be any different, especially with Carter just one point off the NHL’s scoring lead.

Follow Lisa Dillman on Twitter @reallisa

Times staff writer Helene Elliott contributed to this report.


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